In June 2009, GuideGecko (www.guidegecko.com) wrote to me asking me to publish a guide book to Halal places in Singapore or anywhere else.Previously,I had been talking to SD friends about that (May 09)but it seems farfetched ..
But as I procrastinate and hee haws…I decided to JUST DO IT! I was ecstatically happy but at the same time, nervous cos this is my first time in doing this …. It kinda blew my mind!!
Alhamdulillah. Aside from the the trials and tribulations that is working against me (put that all aside …and let’s concentrate on the end product)when the book arrived in my mail today, I was YIPEE… yahoos and of course doin’ the lil jiggety jaggety dance….
The opportunity created not only make me believe the words “Anything is possible, believe and have faith” but it also give me a good experience to understand indepth about book publishing and stuff. I began to appreciate all those books in the libraries and bookstores and even online books.Believe me, its no small feat.
One thing about GuideGecko (and the many online publishers) is that …how and what I want to publish in the book is ALL up to me.Thus imagination itself is a big world.Thus grasping it is another reality.
Anyway, I was overseas when I was compiling the guidebook. I gave myself my own dateline cos if I dont, I might push it later and later and then dwell in my fears and end up not publishing it at all.
And so with the help of some organisations (indirectly) such as Singapore Halal directory online/digest (http://www.singaporehalaldirectory.com/) , http://www.streetdirectory.com/ (online/digest) ,online information and not forgetting my incomplete online guide of halal food http://www.putriberendam.com/ , I start researching and compiling. It’s not easy..trust me, its not…but after a month, Im getting the hang of it..The environment that I was in helps a lot.
And sometimes, u get agitated when u are lost and could not get the info that u wanted and being out of reached from Singapore, u cannot actually get there onsite to ensure that the restaurant is still there.And thus u need to wake those acquaintances from afar just to clarify whether the eatery still exist. (thank you to all Singaporeans,European and SD families & friends that help to furnish me with some info and keep giving me endless motivations!And not forgetting U, yes you..the lovely readers for ur endless supports and love…)
And working with limited resources such as outdated softwares and lil harddisk space(that hangs every few minutes), it really get on my nerves sometimes.
And those listed here are only a lil percentage of those found in my blogs.And so I realised that this blog featured lots and lots of eateries… too many that I cannot feature all in this lil guide book.(that explains why the body shape is on the heavier side sometimes)
Anyway back to the topic, it was a crucial moment of trying to be clear and concise and to be as detailed as possible. I did write in to MUIS and MRT (which then refer my letter to LTA) asking for their permission to use their MRT map and MUIS halal guidelines of permissible preservatives but none seems to reply to me (another setback,innalillahiwainnalillahirojiuun). And so that inspires the creation of kiddie drawing of maps and MRT stations…(err..if u are not able to read it, just take it as a decoration, artistic imagery…*smiles)
Although this guide book is an UNOFFICIAL guide to halal food places…everything is done by yours truly…insya-Allah 100%.And it may not be as glamorous as those found in Borders or anywhere else, alhamdulillah I did it ! My main intention is insya-Allah ..one and only and second is insya-Allah for the use of Muslims (and non) .I’ve tried my best to reduce the price thus the book is published on non-coloured pages(refer below) …
And so all the coloured coded MRT stations and the beautiful colours of the yummilicious food cannot be seen if u buy the hardcopy book itself.But if u buy PDF file (e-book) online, u can see the colours and u can print them in colours urself too.U can choose certain pages that u need and print only what u need and thus u can save the coloured ink.So best is to buy my guide in PDF file (E-book) rather than its hardcopy.Save more trees too!
My honest review on my book: There are lots of areas that can be improved.I had wanted to do lots but I can do so much.I wanted to include all Halal restaurants and also I wanted to do the appendix/index or the meanings of the food names (cos are in Malay,chinese and indian which only locals understand like Char Kway Teow,Nasi Lemak and Dosai) but again, I can only do as much. I tried my best to present the best that I could in this guide book.Hopefully, it will improve with the birth of yearly editions,insya-Allah. And if u wonder, at this time, I did not ask for any sponsorship or advertising opportunities, but insya-Allah that is one channel ,I can look into in the future.
As for the profits , (its already auto-calculated deduct printing costs and guidegecko profits,i have no means of editting it except minus my own profits which I had already did) Alhamdulillah,its not the profits that counts but mainly the purpose and its usage.I am more concern about its usefullness.
Ok,enough of my ramblings, before u actually intend to purchase my guide book: Remember my advice, if u need to see its visual burst of colours and wanted to drool at the sight of the food pics,do buy the pdf file, its cheaper and its E-book.If u need to travel to Singapore and dont need it to be visually attractive then by all means, buy it hardcopy-its black and white (I did not ask for coloured ones cos its too expensive).
If there are any errors accidentally or intentionally (what?!) do forgive me (Im only human) and comment it positively to firstname.lastname@example.org and insya-Allah it can be rectified.
To all book authors (no matter whether ur books are published or not)-Salute to all of u for all ur dedication,hardwork and determination.Don’t stop no matter how hard it is…insya-Allah it is all worth it!
Alhamdulillah…. Come, buy my BOOK -“Unofficial Guide to Halal food Places in Singapore” is published. Give me all your loving support! http://bit.ly/1FMBM
And in order for me to let u have an insight of my own book (so that u wont think Im ripping u off if u expect it to be coloured), I had to buy my own book..yeah, u heard me right. I bought my own book. I am my 1st customer.Yipee!!
p.s: I know another alternative is to source out the publishing/printing companies and print them out myself in COLOUR and sell them out myself….Ermm…ok…too many things at one time, I should try one by one…will see how it goes, insya-Allah.